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Uluru Revisited: You Can Keep Climbing

Australia National Parks
by Carlo Alcos Mar 11, 2010
The proposal to ban hiking up Australia‘s famous red rock has been overruled.

LAST JULY I asked the question, Would You Hike Uluru?

It sparked a furious debate with many people firmly against it:

Climbing Uluru is pretty much the most ignorant thing you can do.*

while other commenters justified it:

if you’ve already stepped foot on the land at Uluru – Kata Tjuta, you may as well carry on and do the climb, I say.*

In January this year, Peter Garrett, current Environment Minister and former lead singer of the politically charged Midnight Oil, overruled the proposal, but he didn’t shut the door on it.

The issue can be revisited, and the climb potentially closed, if one of these three conditions is met in the future:

1. The number of people climbing Uluru drops from the current 38 percent of visitors to fewer than 20 percent.
2. The attraction of the climb is no longer the primary reason visitors travel to Uluru.
3. A range of new experiences are put in place for visitors.

Hmm. Number one is straight forward enough. But how do you prove the second condition? Will there now be questionnaires presented to everyone asking why, exactly, they are here? And when they say “visitors” are they talking about ALL visitors? Or is there a threshold?

As for number three, what would that look like? Should they build a rollercoaster to replace the climb? Maybe ATV rides around the rock, while shooting at cardboard cutouts of kangaroos that pop up form the ground? (After all, shooting real kangaroos is cruel.)

I wouldn’t hold my breath.

*These are partial comments only. For full context please read the article and comments in full.


Does the overrule anger you? Is Minister Garrett making a mistake? Or is this a reasonable (temporary) resolution to this heated issue?

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